In a concerning development, Delhi Police has busted a major Chinese spy ring in the city. Freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma has been arrested by the Delhi Police under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). The Delhi Police has also alleged that Rajeev Sharma had been found in possession of defence-related classified papers and was sharing sensitive information to Chinese intelligence.
At a time when the bilateral relations between India and China have hit rock bottom in the backdrop of the escalating tensions at the Eastern LAC in Ladakh due to China’s expansionist plans, an Indian freelance journalist has been found sharing sensitive information to Chinese intelligence according to the Delhi Police.
Rajeev Sharma who in the past has worked with United News of India, The Tribune, and Sakaal Times, has been arrested under the Official Secrets Act and had recently written an opinion piece for the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda outlet, Global Times.
“He is a resident of Pitampura, and was arrested by the southwestern range of Special Cell of the Delhi Police. He was produced before the magistrate the next day, following which he was taken into police custody for six days. He was found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents. Investigation of the case is in progress,” said DCP (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav.
Sharma who runs a YouTube channel called ‘Rajeev Kishkindha’, which has over 12,000 subscribers, on September 7 wrote an opinion piece for Global Times, titled ‘A rapprochement road map for Beijing and New Delhi benefits both countries.’
In his piece Sharma wrote, “The steady deterioration of bilateral relations since the night of May 5, when the latest standoff began, has practically evaporated all the diplomatic gains of the past years in one stroke. The current crisis is the biggest threat to normal ties between the two sides since 1962. It’s a lose-lose situation for both. Their common objective must be to build a better and peaceful future for their peoples and not a military buildup against one another.”
Earlier today, the Delhi Police also arrested a Chinese woman and a Nepalese man for their alleged involvement in the spy ring involving Rajeev Sharma.
“Special Cell has arrested a freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma for passing sensitive information to Chinese intelligence. One Chinese lady and her Nepalese associate also arrested for paying him large amounts of money routed through shell companies. Chinese intelligence tasked the journalist for conveying sensitive information in lieu of large amounts of money. A large number of mobile phones, laptops, and other incriminating/sensitive material have been recovered,” said DCP Yadav.
Rajeev Sharma in the past has also written for portals like The Quint and DailyO. This is a concerning development for India as it has been widely reported how the Chinese Communist Party is buying good press one journalist at a time, especially in the backdrop of the China-made pandemic.
It is not far-fetched to say that Rajeev Sharma is just the tip of the iceberg with the possibility many freelance journalists who stay in India but are involved in Chinese espionage. Hence, the Delhi Police must investigate this case to the hilt.